Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Victoria Holt: The Shivering Sands

I really tried to read this book again. I know I read it years ago when I was in high school. Maybe I even enjoyed it. As a friend of mine and of the blog said, it has little or no atmosphere, and that makes it tough to get into. The beginning had a very lengthy section of back story, too, that drove me nuts. I picked the novel up and put it down many times and made it to about page 60 or so when it was all said and done. My motto is that if a book can't grab my attention by page 30, I need to put it down. I give some books more pages than that. The Shivering Sands by Victoria Holt was one of them.

I'm not going to do a full review here. Instead, if you have thoughts on the novel, post them. Tell me why you love it. I need more atmosphere and movement in a novel than I got in this one, but I'd love to know what you think...

I suspect I'm just not much of a Victoria Holt fan after all. Perhaps I just haven't found the right novel of hers to go gaga over yet. Suggestions? :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Jana DeLeon: The Secret of Cypriere Bayou

I made a foray this weekend into Kindle for PC and into a new romance novel brand I've never read that I remember: Harlequin Intrigue. I picked DeLeon's The Secret of Cypriere Bayou because I was curious about how these are written, and she had dubbed it "Gothic lite," citing Barbara Michaels as an inspiration. I was also psyched to find out there are a few of these "Shivers" in the Intrigue line. They are short and sweet. Another now popular gothic thriller author, Amanda Stevens, also wrote for this line until just a few years ago.

Olivia Markham goes to LaMalediction, an old haunted house in Louisiana, to spend time writing. The caretaker, John Landry, is hunky and has secrets of his own. Strange noises and happenings in the house escalate into danger. Will Olivia and John figure out the secrets of the house and find love?

I enjoyed some of the thrills and chills in the novel. Secret tunnels, old letters, and atmosphere were spooky elements. Overall, I give it 4 stars for a category romance with Gothic atmosphere and trappings.
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